Santa’s Naughty List

Small Business Cartoon: Ideas Lighting Up

Christmas is a fertile time for cartoonists. There’s tons of stuff to poke fun at: Santa, elves, gingerbread houses, ornaments, mistletoe… it just goes on and on.

The bad part is because of publisher lead times, you usually end up writing your Christmas gags in June. Let me tell you, when I’m filling up the plastic pool in the back yard for the kids, reindeer jokes are hard to summon.

One of my writing tricks is taking two things that don’t seem to go together and finding something to connect them. Santa’s naughty list is standard cartoon fare, but pairing it with a sales graph got me over the hump. And it helped me finish up my Christmas writing, even as I put on my sunscreen.

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Mark Anderson, professional cartoonistAbout the Author: Mark Anderson’s cartoons appear in publications including The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. Anderson is the creator of the popular cartoon website,, where he licenses his cartoons for presentations, newsletters and other projects. He blogs at Andertoons blog.


Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website,

8 Reactions
  1. Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you were on the “Nice” list not the “Naughty” list.

    – Anita

  2. As Tim Sanders says in “Love Is The Killer App”: “Nice, smart people succeed” (NSPS). I am on the nice list. We started to celebrate Xmas yesterday, on December 24, with a smorgasbord with herring, meatballs, turkey, etc. and then then Xmas gift distribution in the evening.

    Merry Yuletide! 🙂

    • Merry Christmas, Martin!

      Smorgasbord sounds good…. I didn’t realize turkey was on the Swedish menu.

  3. Smorgasbord is one of the few Swedish contributions to the English language. You spell it “smörgåsbord” (~sandwich table) in Swedish. Turkey is not the traditional dish in Sweden, but has become more and more popular. I like this type of meat very much. You could have it as cold cuts, brawn / head-cheese, sausage, meatballs, etc. Ham is the traditional Xmas dish in Sweden.

  4. Merry Christmas everyone!

  5. I just need to find out if I’m on the naught or good list